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MARCH 2016

Professor Sigrid Adriaenssens E-332 x4661

My general research interests lie in the domain of form finding and optimization techniques, generation of novel
structural systems, the influence of conflicting design drivers on the generation of form. Examples of senior
thesis research could include:

Structural behavior/design of bamboo structures: Architect Greta Tresserra designs and builds elegant,
sustainable structures from bamboo in Cali Colombia. Her bamboo gridshells have been the subject of a limited
amount of engineering research. Possible area of research are (not exclusively):
- Investigate the effect of wind and earthquakes on bamboo structures
- Quantify the carbon-footprint of bamboo structures (compared to ones built out of more traditional

Development of soil tiles for earthen vault construction from local Princeton soil: Dirtas in clay, gravel,
sand, silt, soil, loam, mudis everywhere. The ground we walk on and grow crops in also happens to be one of
the most widely used construction material worldwide. Earth does not generate CO2 emissions in its generation,
transport, assembly or recycling and this in contrast to more conventional building materials such as concrete
and steel. It has been shown that soil can be pressed into tiles or formed into bricks and can be used to construct
earthen vaults. For the proposed research the student could investigate the possibilities to use Princetons soil
(which has been shown to be suitable for earth construction) to form tiles, and design and build a small earthen
shell prototype.

Professor Ian Bourg E-416 x4541

Research Interests

The surface chemistry of clay minerals; contaminant adsorption and migration in soils and sedimentary
environments; isolation of hazardous and radioactive waste; geologic carbon sequestration; uses of stable
isotopes to understand metal biogeochemical cycling and the water cycle.

Independent Work/Senior Thesis Topics

1. Adsorption of organic contaminants (chlorinated organics, pharmaceutical contaminants or other) on clay

surfaces: laboratory experiments and/or molecular simulations.
2. Adsorption of organic contaminants at the air-water interface.
3. Behavior of water confined in silica nanopores.
4. Adsorption of cesium on clay minerals: laboratory experiments, chemical modeling, and/or molecular
5. Kinetics of metal binding to organic ligands: atomistic simulations and implications for the design of stable
isotope paleoproxies.

Professor Elie Bou-Zeid E-414 x5429
ebouzeid@princeton.edu http://efm.princeton.edu

Independent Work/Senior Thesis Topics

1. My general expertise is in the fields of environmental fluid mechanics, boundary layer meteorology, and
urban environmental studies. Students interested in these topics can talk to me to formulate questions
other than the ones laid out below. I strongly encourage students to propose their own projects, and I am
always happy to guide them through the process of researching and executing these projects and theses.
2. Urban and building energy studies: We collected data on temperature and heat fluxes in multiple roofs
on the Princeton campus and the PPPL campus. A number of problems and questions can be
investigated using these datasets related to the effect of urbanization on the energy balance at the earth
surface and the consequences for urban microclimates and energy consumption in buildings.
3. Urban hydrology: The water cycle in urban areas is currently poorly understood and modeled. To
improve on this, there is a need to better understand the hydrological properties of common urban
materials such as brick, concrete, asphalt, These properties include for example the depth of the water
film retain by these material after rain, the potential infiltration and subsequent evaporation of water
from these materials, etc.
4. Boundary layer dynamics: We have collected profiles of wind, turbulence, and temperature data at the
Forrestal campus that go up to ~ 600 meters. Students can use the data to understand how wind speed
varies seasonally and diurnally, with important implications for wind power and other applications.
5. Atmospheric Turbulence: using previously collected experimental data over a lake and a glacier, we are
analyzing the turbulent nature of atmospheric flows near the earth surface. The aims of the studies are
to: a) understand the discrepancy between the turbulent transport of momentum, heat, and moisture, b)
develop novel evaporation models and investigate the edge effect (when the wind is coming from the
land side) on lake evaporation, c) Study coherent turbulent structures near the surface and how they are
affected by the thermal stability of the lower atmosphere. Many opportunities for model and theory
development using these data sets are available.

Professor Kelly K. Caylor E-405 x4614

Research Interests

My research addresses the coupled feedbacks between ecosystems and surface hydrology, with a focus on
climate change and land degradation in semi-arid landscapes. Research in my group combines theoretical
development, field observations, and simulation modeling to gain new insight into the complex controls on
water balance and plant water use in drylands. Most of my current work is focused on semi-arid rangelands
in developing regions; primarily the Kalahari desert in southern Africa, the southern and eastern provinces
of Zambia, and at the Mpala Research Center in Kenya.

Note: Opportunities for field work during the summer (2013) exist for motivated students capable of identifying
a promising research topic before the end of the spring term.

Possible (but not inclusive) Independent Work/Senior Thesis Topics:

1. Impact of climate variability on subsistence agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa

2. Strategies for efficient water use of rainfall and irrigation for dryland agriculture
3. Detection of human signatures in analyses of streamflow dynamics
4. Development of low-cost distributed sensor networks for monitoring food security and drought in the
developing world.
5. Use of water vapor isotopes to discriminate evaporation and transpiration in land surface fluxes.
6. Lab-based analysis of the physics of isotopic fractionation during soil evaporation
7. Impact of fire on land surface hydrology

Professor Michael Celia E-409 x5425

Research Interests

Computational modeling and general analysis of geological storage of carbon dioxide, as part of a broader
application of Carbon Capture and Geological Storage as a carbon mitigation strategy; Environmental
impacts associated with methane production from shale-gas formations and hydraulic fracturing; Modeling
fluids in subsurface formations; Groundwater hydrology and groundwater contamination.

Independent Work/Senior Thesis Topics

1. Carbon management and storage of carbon in deep geologic formations, as a partial solution to the global
warming problem.
2. The carbon cycle and active management of carbon flows.
3. Impacts of alternative energy systems on water resources.
4. Analysis of methane leakage along old wells and its environmental impacts.

Jordan Furnans, PhD, PE, PG
INTERA Incorporated, Austin, Texas
(512) 425-2074 (Office Direct)
(512) 736-6485 (Mobile)

Here are my current ideas for a project, and the extent to which it could be fully undertaken in a senior
thesis would depend on the students capabilities and the interest of the professor overseeing the work.

1) We cant solve our problems with the same thinking that created them!
For this project, a student will learn about the water management practices of the Lower Colorado River
Authority (LCRA), which provides water to the City of Austin, TX and other entities. Current practice is
to use the Texas Water Availability Model (WAM) to assess the impact of proposed water management
strategies. The student will study the water management strategies developed by the LCRA, and will
compare their results to those obtained by a new strategy developed by the student, based on the concept
of water banking. The water banking strategy, if implemented properly, should allow for proactive water
management, and would be a drought-proof means for ensuring equitable water availability given
unknown future inflows to LCRAs reservoirs. This work has the potential to change water management
strategies in Texas.

2) Texas has experienced a decrease in stream flow statewide, as measured by USGS gauges with records
longer than 50 years. A student could analyze the streamflow records, document & map temporal/spatial
trends in gauge data, and attempt to identify causes for such trends. If ambitious, a student could apply
this same analysis to all USGS gauges in the United States, and make national-scale as well as regional-
local scale assessments in water availability.

3) Texas uses Water Availability Models (WAMs) to determine if sufficient water is available to meet
needs of water users in a given location. These models assume that the hydrology present from 1940-the
mid 1990s will be repeated in the future. Id like to have a student investigate this assumption, using
streamflow/climate data from the historical record in comparison with that measured from the mid
1990s to present. Id also like to use tree-ring data and other anecdotal evidence to attempt to extend the
historical streamflow record backward further into the past, and then to use the new hydrology in the
WAMs to get a better sense of current Texas water management programs. We could then extend the
hydrology into the future using global-climate model down-scaled data and the VIC hydrologic model
(based on data provided by the US Bureau of Reclamation). This work has the potential to demonstrate
the fallacy of water availability modeling using a Period of Record approach as currently undertaken
by the State of Texas.

4) Landsat imagery is available worldwide, with images available every 8-16 days. These images of the
ground surface have been utilized to assess irrigation practices in the US and to quantify

evapotranspiration rates and water consumption. Id like a student to investigate the possibility of using
Landsat images to perform the following tasks: 1) remotely survey reservoirs and compute water
volumes, and 2) to assess temperature differences resulting from Xeroscaping rather than from planting

5) Streamflow into the Highland Lakes upstream of Austin, TX has been significantly reduced during the
recent drought yet precipitation records indicate that rainfall quantities have been relatively stable.
Why is this? For this project, the student will investigate the causes of the decreased streamflow. I have
my own ideas as to the causes, but Id prefer the student develop his/her own ideas (with my
consultation) and then try to prove them. This project will be of great interest to water managers,
legislators, etc throughout Texas.

6) Hydrographic Survey program automation for this project, the student will learn the techniques and
methods used in sub-bottom hydrographic surveying. This effort quantifies water volumes within a
lake/impoundment, and also allows for the quantification of sediment accumulation. We will explore
current data collection methods (including likely field work), and then will develop improved data
processing techniques to hasten report development times while increasing accuracy of the results. This
project would likely involve some field work in Texas, and may therefore become a paid summer

For this work, the student should be interested in computer programming and water accounting. The student
will gain experience in data analysis, model execution & review, and US western-state water policy. The
results of these projects could have a quick impact on water management throughout Texas, and possible
nation/worldwide. Results could be published in a peer-reviewed journal, depending upon the approach
undertaken and the results.

Professor Maria Garlock E-328 - x2728

General Topics of Research Interest:

Design of earthquake resistant structures
Structure-fire interaction
Multi-hazard design (e.g. fire following earthquake)
Design for resilient structures and communities
Detailed studies of exemplary works of engineering
Structural Design (in general)

Potential Thesis Topics:

Elevated temperature response of steel bridges designed with weathering steel

(Co-advising with Prof. Claire White)
Weathering steels, due to their high-corrosion resistance
properties, are increasingly being used internationally in
bridge construction. However, their material properties at
high temperature are unknown, making it difficult to
understand or model the structural response of weathering
steel bridges affected by fire. Nor can we assess their post-
fire strength. This project can examine the atomic phases
(crystal structure) and microstructure of weathering steel
after it has been heated and cooled. The phase changes will
be identified using analytical techniques such as X-ray
diffraction and scanning electron microscopy and related to
the changes in mechanical properties such as yield stress and Fire under a weathering steel bridge in NJ on Oct.
fracture toughness. Furthermore, it is unknown if the 3, 2012.
formation of the patina (rust layer) on the surface of the steel
slows the rate of heating (e.g. does it protect the steel from heat to some extent?). In addition to
experimental work, this project can involve finite element analyses. Examples of potential finite element
studies include comparing the response of bridges designed with weathering steels to that with non-
weathering steel. The post-fire strength of steel bridges based on out of plane residual deformations can be
also be examined. This topic is generally unexplored and many other research paths are possible.

Strut-and-tie model for steel plate girders

In reinforced concrete design, the complex behavior of deep beams can be designed by simplifying the
response into compression (strut) and tension (tie) paths called strut-and-tie models. In the design of
deep beams made of steel (used in bridges and also in buildings to transfer columns), a complex buckling
model that does not honestly represent the path of forces is typically used. A potential project can
examine developing a strut-and-tie model for deep steel beams (called plate girders) to honestly and simply
represent the behavior of these structures. The model also needs to be developed to be adaptable to elevated
temperatures to make it more versatile. A current graduate student has begun examining this work but a
Senior can branch off what has already been developed.

Probabilistic evaluation of steel buildings subject to fire following earthquake.
Our profession of civil engineering is now asking for us to design resilient communities. This means that
our communities, which are highly dependent on our infrastructure, not only need to withstand major events
such as large earthquakes, but also recover quickly from that event so that functionality is restored. Thus,
we need to consider all potential subsequent events that may occur following the initiating event. In the
case of earthquakes, historical events show that fire typically follows. A current graduate project has
recently adapted an open source nonlinear structural analysis software so that simulations of fire following
earthquake can be made using a probabilistic approach to consider several uncertainties. This tool can be
used to develop numerous studies of fire following earthquake scenarios and examine the parameters that
are most sensitive to the structural response.

Community resilience following an extreme event

How does the overall structural performance of a community affect the overall community resilience
including human response? I am interested in developing new research that examines a community, its
general vulnerability to an extreme event, and how the structural response of the buildings, water towers,
life lines, etc. affect evacuation and time for restoration.

A study of Anton Tedesko

Room E301 has the worlds largest archive of Anton Tedesko, who is credited for bringing thin shell
concrete construction from Europe to the US. While David Billington and his students have done some
studies of Tedesko and his works, there remains several unexplored opportunities. Some of the documents
are in German, but although knowledge of this language is not essential.

Examples of Independent Work/Senior Thesis Topics Supervised:

See http://www.princeton.edu/~mgarlock

Professor Branko Glisic E-330 - x8278

Research Interests

Structural health monitoring (SHM) and structural analysis; SHM methods and strategies; fiber optic
sensors (FOS) and advanced sensory systems; smart structures and intelligent infrastructure; hazard
mitigation and enhancement of safety; model-based and model-free data analysis.

Independent Work/Senior Thesis Topics

1. Students ideas in domains of Structural Health Monitoring, Structural Analysis, and Smart Structures are
welcome; to be accepted, the ideas must be preliminary elaborated by the student
2. Assessment of performance of Streicker Bridge based on monitoring results
3. Comparative study of various monitoring systems applied to Streicker Bridge
4. Deployable smart structures
5. Dynamic analysis of Wayne Bridge (US202/NJ23).
6. Testing of sensing sheets based on large area electronics
7. Structural analysis of heritage structures

Professor Peter R. Jaffe - E-411 - x4653

* Professor Jaffe will be on sabbatical in spring term of AY 2016-2017; he will not be available to advise
Senior Thesis for the class of 2017.

Research Interests

Water pollution control, water quality modeling, determining the fate of toxic pollutants in the environment.

Independent Work/Senior Thesis Topics

1. Modeling transport and transformation of pollutants in surface and groundwater.

2. Experimental investigation of the chemical and biological transformations of pollutants in soils and

3. Risk assessment for toxic substances.

4. Water/Waste water treatment.

Professor Ning Lin E328 x0266

Research Interests

Natural Hazards and Risk Assessment, Stochastic Modeling, Wind Engineering, Coastal Engineering,
Climate Change Impact and Adaptation, and Built Environment and Sustainability. Specifically, my current
research integrates science, engineering, and policy to study hurricanes and associated weather extremes,
how they change with climate, and how their impact on society can be mitigated.

Research Website: https://ninglin.princeton.edu

Possible Senior Thesis Topics

Hurricane Hazard Investigation and Modeling

1. Physical and statistical storm track and intensity
2. Impact of global warming on hurricane characteristics and hazards
3. Parametric wind fields
4. Random wind fields
5. Storm surge ensemble forecasting and long-term risk assessment
6. Parametric storm surge prediction
7. Observational and numerical rainfall fields

Structural Damage Analysis and Modeling

1. Wind damage to residential areas
2. Windborne debris effects on tall buildings
3. Rainfall penetration and damage
4. Flood damage
5. Multi-hazards risk assessment
6. Damage and loss data: collection, uncertainty analysis, and applications
7. Hazard and climate mitigation strategies, insurance, and public policy

You are welcome to discuss with me in more details about above topics and/or related ideas.

Professor Denise Mauzerall E-412 & 406 Robertson x2498

Research Interests

The objective of my research group is to utilize science to inform the development of far-sighted air quality
policy. We explore linkages between air pollution and health, energy, and climate change.

Independent Work/Senior Thesis Topics

The topics below are general ideas that would need to be focussed further.

- Potential of renewable energy to displace coal and reduce emissions of air pollutants and carbon dioxide
(choose specific technology, country/region, etc.)
- Benefits of methane mitigation strategies for air quality and climate change;
- Cost comparison of various methane mitigation strategies;
- Benefits of black carbon mitigation strategies for air quality and climate change;
- Comparison of adverse effects of climate change and surface ozone concentrations on global agriculture.

Professor Catherine Peters E-417A - x5645

Research Interests

Prof. Peters works in the area of environmental geochemistry. Research in her group focuses on
environmental impacts of subsurface energy technologies including hydrofracking and carbon dioxide
sequestration. She is particularly interested in reactions kinetics, and her work typically combines
laboratory experimentation with mathematical modeling to infer reaction rates for a variety of
environmental systems. Examples include:
-- Laboratory experiments involving high-pressure reactive flows through sedimentary media. These
experiments are needed to understand, for example, the potential for toxic metals and radionuclides to be
released in the context of hydrofracking.
-- Scanning electron microscopy and Xray spectroscopy for imaging minerals in geologic materials. Such
imaging informs us about the pore-fluids and reactive minerals in geological materials, and it helps us to
determine the extent to which important reactions will occur.
-- Mathematical simulation of geochemical reaction kinetics relevant to CO2 sequestration. This is
appropriate for a student with excellent chemistry preparation and computer programming skills (or the
willingness to learn through independent study!).

Dr. Peters works closely with Research Scholar Dr. Jeff Fitts, an expert in geochemistry and spectroscopic
methods. Research that would be jointly supervised by Dr. Peters and Dr. Fitts is as follows. Production of
natural gas from shale formations is an expanding industry, but hydraulic fracturing, aka hydrofracking,
produces vast quantities of flowback and production wastewaters. A resulting environmental concern is
the mobilization of metals and radionuclides from the shale formation into these wastewaters. This
investigation seeks to study the mobilization of barium and arsenic from fractured shale rocks using
laboratory studies under a range of geochemical conditions. The overall goal is to develop geochemical
models capable of forecasting contaminant levels in flowback and produced waters from shale operations
based on the petrophysical properties of the shale.
Pennsylvania heat map of [Ba]/[Cl] ratio in produced water Pennsylvania map of wells and disposal facilities. Source:
from Marcellus Shale. Source: Barbot et al. 2013 Lutz et al. 2013

Figure 2. Pennsylvania maps of barium occurrence in FPW in comparison to well locations. Sources: Barbot et al. (2013),
Lutz et al. (2013).

Professor Jean H. Prvost E-232 - x5424

Research Interests

Dynamics, nonlinear continuum mechanics, mixture theories, finite element methods, constitutive theories,
geotechnical engineering, centrifuge soil testing, computer graphics, structural optimization, earthquake
engineering, and materials engineering. Numerical simulation of cracks propagation in solids, of injection
and transport of contaminants in the subsurface. Analysis of subsurface sequestration strategies for CO2.
Modeling of CO2 leaks.

Independent Work/Senior Thesis Topics

Any of the above areas.

Examples of Senior Thesis Topics Supervised:

Princeton Tunnel: The Transformation of Washington Road and Princeton Campus.

The Rion-Antirion Bridge: a Case Study of the Private Infrastructure Concession Scheme.
The Structural Response to Seismic Excitation and the Effectiveness of Chemical Consolidation Treatment in
Adobe Structures.
The Design of a Pedestrian Bridge for Clock Tower Place, Maynard, MA.
Aerodynamic Stability of Multi-Box Suspension Bridge Decks.
Seismic Retrofitting: a Study of John S. Eastwoods Littlerock Dam.
Rebuilding the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
Hostile Living Conditions: Building and Powering a Martian Habitat.
Assessing and Improving the Effectiveness of Bamboo Reinforcement in Adobe Structures .
Optimization of Thin-Shelled Hypar Structures: Felix Candela and the Chapel Lomas de Cuernavaca.
Model Complexity in Computer-Aided Seismic Analysis of Steel Moment-Resisting Frames.
The Risks and Behavior of Carbon Dioxide Leakage from Geologic Reservoirs

Professor James A. Smith E-413/E209 - x4615

Research Interests

Hydrometeorology, flood hydrology, and environmental fluid mechanics, and environmental remote

Independent Work/Senior Thesis Topics

1. Hydrology, hydraulics and hydrometeorology of extreme floods.

2. Urban hydrology hydrologic impacts of land-use change, flash flood hydrology.
3. Weather radar rainfall estimation, weather analyses based on Doppler radar and polarimetric radar
4. Environmental sensor systems water, carbon and nitrogen cycles; trace gages in the atmosphere.

Professor Claire White E-326 - x6263

General Research Interests

Materials for sustainability
Developing sustainable cement and concrete technology
Clays and other natural materials
Supplementary cementitious materials
Minerals and amorphous phases for CO2 sequestration
Computer-based modeling of materials at the atomic, nano- and higher length scales

Potential Senior Thesis Topics

Permeability and pore structure of novel sustainable cements
Improving the long-term performance of sustainable cements by seeding with nanoparticles
Can magnesium help limit CO2-induced degradation of sustainable cements?

Self-determined thesis topics

Self-determined topics relating to the broad area of materials and sustainability are highly-encouraged. Please
discuss with Dr. White.

Professor Eric F. Wood - E-415 - x4675

Research Interests

The current research being carried out by my group can be found at http://hydrology.princeton.edu.
Areas of interest include hydrology and water resources and their impacts from climate change
(extreme temperatures, droughts and floods), satellite remote sensing of the water cycle
(precipitation, evaporation, soil moisture, etc.); forecasting of seasonal (3 or 6 month ahead) climate
(precipitation, temperature, and the hydrology).

There are other related topics, especially topics that may involve co-advisors, where students have
particular interests. Some are listed below as co-advising topics.

Independent Work/Senior Thesis Topics

Climate change. Example studies including projections for sustainable water resources, energy
(including biofuels) and food under climate change scenarios (for specific regions or countries); Integrated
Assessment studies that include water scenarios. Modeling or analysis studies using IPCC 4th Assessment
climate projections.

Climate forecasting. Evaluating the potential of using seasonal forecasting models (3 to 6 month
forecasts from NOAA) for water resource and water-sensitive sectors (e.g. energy, agriculture.)

Hydrologic modeling and remote sensing. Carry out studies related to the hydrologic cycle and
climate variability at a range of scales from small regions to continents.

Co-advising topics
Regional Water Quality monitoring and modeling (w. Prof Jaffe)
Environmental impacts and water demands of hydro-fracturing for natural gas extraction.

Professor Mark A. Zondlo E-403 x5037

Research Interests

My group develops and deploys novel optical instrumentation to address important areas in air quality,
climate change, and meteorology. New optical light sources such as quantum cascade lasers and vertical
cavity lasers provide unprecedented opportunities to probe the atmosphere. The projects help to address
fundamental questions in cloud microphysics, aerosol chemistry, cirrus cloud chemistry, radiative and
chemical properties of the troposphere, urban air quality, and greenhouse gas fluxes. Projects span the range
from participation in international, scientific field campaigns to laboratory development of new instruments.

Independent Work/Senior Thesis Topics

1. Ammonia is one of the most important precursor species for atmospheric haze particles, but a lack of
fast and sensitive measurements have hindered our ability to understand particle physics and chemistry. The
effects of ammoniated aerosol particles are among the largest sources of uncertainty when predicting future
climate, and ammoniated particles also play critical roles in the formation of unhealthy fine particulate
matter. This project will involve laboratory studies and local field deployments of a new, ultrasensitive
ammonia instrument. Emissions of ammonia are highly uncertain, and urban emissions in particular may be
underestimated. To these ends, we will examine the horizontal and vertical extent of the ammonia emissions
in the NYC area and help to predict its role in the formation of fine particulate matter.

2. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is the third most important greenhouse gas, continues to increase rapidly in the
atmosphere, and has an atmospheric lifetime greater than 100 years. While its sources include tropical soils,
melting permafrost, and agricultural activities, quantifying these sources has been extremely difficult due to
a lack of existing instrumentation. Thus, N2O is currently an unregulated greenhouse gas. This project will
involve instrument development of a high-precision sensor using a quantum cascade laser and local field
deployments to identify the extreme heterogeneity in space and time of N2O emissions.

3. Water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, but its distribution and
concentration in the upper troposphere are poorly known. We have developed a fast and sensitive sensor for
the NSF G-V research aircraft that is currently being deployed in a number of global field campaigns.
Analyses of this dataset include identifying the spatial extent and frequency of ice supersaturated regions
and the distribution of water vapor throughout the troposphere. The research will involve analyses of field
data and laboratory calibrations under relevant atmospheric conditions.